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Nicaragua’s Environmental Pioneers In Balance

Nicaragua’s Environmental Pioneers Envision Sustainable Tourism In Tandem with Upscale, Boutique Eco-Lodges

Eric and Carolina Poncon | © Morgan's Rock

The owners of Morgan’s Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge on 4,500 acres in Playa Ocotal State, Nicaragua, announce plans over the next two years to create a second boutique lodge destination on a 5,000-acre coffee plantation surrounded by primary growth rainforest in the north of the country.

Environmental pioneers Eric and Carolina Poncon envision their second upscale eco-lodge as yet another step in fulfilling their vision of putting their family lands to productive agriculture, forestry and tourism use – but only if it’s done sustainably.

Instead of building mega resorts, which Eric Poncon says is not in the family’s DNA, their goal is to create self-sufficient, low-impact lodges that showcase each particular region through its land-based pursuits: agriculture, coffee and forestry.

“If we wanted to have a more profitable, faster-return business we could have gone into real estate development. But that’s not in our collective vision,” says Poncon.

Their concept surrounding the new lodge is to create meaningful community connections that positively impact guests, workers and their families, and local services and schools. The message is always about sustainability. This is being accomplished already at Morgan’s Rock.

The new lodge will access what Poncon calls “a significant-scale farm, where we generate sustainable hydro energy, produce certified coffee and maintain Forest Stewardship Council-certified forests.” There are schools on premise and 100 houses for workers. As with Morgan’s Rock, there will be some 15 stylishly appointed guest bungalows created by regional artisans from local materials.

“We would love to showcase this region and share it with guests,” Poncon says. Engaging guests in what sustainable farming is about and the implications of sustainable coffee are themes dear to his heart.

And then there are some coco plantations the family owns which open up possibilities of agricultural immersion for guests in these destinations sometime in the future.

“Our DNA is planting trees, conservation, preserving the land for the kids,” underscored Poncon, whose parents emigrated in 1973 from France to work on agricultural development projects. Coffee sales, marketing and distribution engage Eric Poncon in part today. Tree farming and furniture making also fall under the family’s aegis.

Poncon wants people to see his country as it is today, “very authentic, very natural still. Its attraction is the authenticity.”

By choosing to create luxury boutique lodges throughout the country, the family will continue to expand spheres of influence around each lodge community and assist in disbursing the benefits that come with sustainable and responsible tourism.

About Morgan’s Rock
Barefoot luxury on a private tropical beach, stunning ocean-view bungalows, all within a 4,500-acre jungle define the Morgan’s Rock experience. The ecolodge is a 15-bungalow hideaway on a mile-long picturesque sandy beach, frequented year-round by nesting sea turtles. The lodge’s backdrop is a vast 4,000-acre property, nearly half of which is a government-designated reserve. The rest is low-impact agricultural land (a farm called El Aguacate) and sustainable tropical forestland (owned and managed by Desarrollo Ecoforestal, S.A.). Opened in 2004 by owners, the Poncon family, Morgan’s Rock is two hours by car from Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, on the Southern Pacific Coast of this to-be-discovered Central American country. For information and reservations contact by e-mail: info@morgansrock.com or go online: http://www.morgansrock.com/.